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Industry Experts Discuss the State of Cloud Computing

By far the top driver is speed: speed to procure and provision infrastructure, platforms and applications

Does Cloud Computing Exist as a Separate Industry Sector?
The last word goes not to any of the executives above but to the Sage of San Francisco, Mitchell Kertzman - Managing Director of Hummer Winblad Venture Partners.

"I actually have a somewhat contrarian view," says Kertzman. " My view is that (although we at Hummer Winblad have invested in several 'cloud computing' companies), there really is no specific 'cloud computing' sector."

Here is Kertzman's logic:

"I think that the lines between SaaS, PaaS, etc., virtualization and cloud computing are fuzzy and indistinct. To some extent, cloud is an overlay on virtualization, allowing dynamic elasticity for provisioning and deprovisioning, but that doesn’t make it a separate sector. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge fan of that and I think that it will be the future of corporate IT, but your questions are a bit hard to answer given my views above!"

It would be a bold man who would bet against Kertzman's view becoming the consensual industry view over time. His record of prescience, which we have had the honor of showcasing time and again here at SYS-CON.com, is astonishing - he identified Virtualization as a major game-changer before anyone else in the industry.

Participants:

Chris Keene - CEO, WaveMaker
Christopher Keene is Chairman and CEO of WaveMaker (formerly ActiveGrid). Chris was the founder, in 1991, of Persistence Software, a San Mateo, CA-based company that created a new approach for managing data in high-transaction banking and communications systems. Persistence Software investors included Cisco, Intel, Reuters and Sun Microsystems. The company went public in 1999 on the NASDAQ exchange and was sold in 2004 to Progress software.

Lewis Cirne - Founder & CEO of New Relic
Lew Cirne is the founder of New Relic, the first provider of on-demand (SaaS) application management tools for cloud or datacenter applications. A seasoned entrepreneur, technologist, and enterprise software pioneer, he has been focused on application performance management for more than ten years. Cirne holds seven patents related to application performance technology. Most recently he was an Entrepreneur in Residence at Benchmark Capital. He founded and was first CEO of Wily Technology and earlier held senior engineering positions at Apple and Hummingbird Communications.

Nati Shalom - CTO of GigaSpaces
Nati Shalom is CTO and Founder of GigaSpaces. He is also the Head of the Israeli Grid consortium. He has more then 10 years of experience with distributed technology and architecture namely CORBA, Jini, J2EE, Grid and SOA. As a technology visionary he's a frequent presenter at industry conferences and actively involved in evangelizing Space Based Architecture and Data Grid patterns.

Bill Koff, CTO of CSC
Bill Koff is a leader in CSC’s technology community as vice president and chief technology officer for CSC’s Office of Innovation, which includes the Leading Edge Forum. The LEF provides clients with access to a powerful knowledge base and a global n

Michael Crandell - CEO of RightScaleMichael Crandell is the CEO and a founder of RightScale, where he provides the vision and direction for the company as it pioneers innovative ways to bring the power of cloud computing to any organization. Crandell is a frequent speaker at cloud computing industry conferences, and he has played a major role in helping establish and promote openness and transparency in the cloud market. Prior to RightScale, he served as CEO at several Internet Software-as-a-Service (SAAS) companies and as executive vice president at eFax.com.

Mitchell Kertzman - Managing Director, Hummer Winblad Venture Partners
Mitchell Kertzman is a Managing Director at Hummer Winblad Venture Partners. He has over 30 years of experience as a CEO of public and private software companies. Most recently, Mitchell was Chairman and CEO of Liberate Technologies, a provider of platform software for the delivery of digital services by cable television companies. Before joining Liberate, he was chairman of the board and CEO of Sybase, Inc. Mitchell was founder and CEO of Powersoft, which merged with Sybase in February 1995.

More Stories By Jeremy Geelan

Jeremy Geelan is Chairman & CEO of the 21st Century Internet Group, Inc. and an Executive Academy Member of the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences. Formerly he was President & COO at Cloud Expo, Inc. and Conference Chair of the worldwide Cloud Expo series. He appears regularly at conferences and trade shows, speaking to technology audiences across six continents. You can follow him on twitter: @jg21.

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dyoungg2ix 10/13/09 03:27:00 PM EDT

Jill, I couldn't agree with you more. Moreover, I think that cloud computing will create opportunities where IT will no longer be simply a necessary expense, but an actual revenue center for the enterprise as well.

Damon Young

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